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Arts and crafts are one of the best ways to explore self-expression and foster creativity. For families looking to create together, the South Bay is home to numerous spots where adults and children can get their hands dirty making art. With opportunities for everyone from the professional artist to the bright-eyed exploratory toddler, all crafty types are sure to find inspiration in the South Bay. Here are five of the best spots for families to do arts and crafts.

Cantor Center For The Visual Arts
Stanford University
328 Lomita Dr. at Museum Way
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-4177

Located on the Stanford University campus, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts is open six days a week and is free to the public. The store is closed on Monday. The Center has a number of family programs. Visiting families may choose from three interactive museum guide brochures that cover different areas of world art, as well as give suggested enriching family art activities. Visitors are welcome to check out Art Packs which include sketch paper and colored pencils to make for a more hands-on creative experience. Each Sunday is family day at the museum where patrons will have the opportunity to join in one of the docent-led family tours, as well as enjoy a studio art-making session.

Art Bash Studio
14456 Union Ave.
San Jose, CA 95124
(408) 460-1060

San Jose’s Art Bash Studios was founded by children’s book illustrator C.D. Hullinger, and conducts all manner of art classes for both kids and adults. The studio offers instruction in everything from kite-making to landscape painting. Classes and camps are offered to children ages four and up through adults. Adults can sign up for a variety of fused glass projects, with all materials provided in the cost of tuition. Art Bash is also available for birthday parties.

Sticky Fingers Studio
15645 Via Castana
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(408) 658-8910

Sticky Fingers Studio in Morgan Hill specializes in more open-ended process-based art opportunities for kids. Children can participate in summer day camps, classes, and open studio times. Creativity and individuality are fostered through exploration of a variety of materials and mediums. Kids toddler age and up are welcome, and the studio is open four days a week, Monday through Thursday.

A Work Of Heart
2196 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 266-1005

Situated in quaint downtown Willow Glen, A Work of Heart offers a vast variety of art experiences for all ages. With everything from open studio time or private art tutoring to summer sewing camps and art journaling classes, A Work of Heart provides an opportunity for the entire family to get their hands dirty and their creative juices flowing. In studio project-themed parties are available for kids and adults alike.

Community School Of Music And Arts
230 San Antonio Cir.
Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 917-6800

Mountain View’s Community School of Music and Arts offers professional quality instruction on a variety of arts and crafts, as well as musical instruments. Both children and adults can enroll in everything from comic book illustration, fashion design, wheel-thrown ceramics and speed painting. A varied selection of summer camps are open to children in kindergarten through eighth grade and include themes such as folk art and animal ceramics. In addition, the CSMA runs after school art clubs at a number of Mountain View public elementary schools.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.